How to make bullets harder?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by frosty, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. frosty

    frosty New Member

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    How much solder are you supposed to add to the pot to increase the hardness?

    Does dropping bullets from the mold into cool water really make a difference?

    I have a pot and a mold and started to cast some 158 grn semi wadcutters from wheel weights. It was excellent in no time at all I had perfect bullets by the 3 cast from my mold. The pot is a bottom pour Lee. I wanted to start off not to expensive as money is kind of tight right now. I fluxed with paraffin wax, yes there was smoke but that was o.k.. I skimmed the clips off along with a little dirt that came up too. Now I was wondering about the layer of colored metal on top do I skim it off or leave it. I only cast about 60 or so bullets and stopped. I just wanted to get my feet wet and then ask you guys what to do next.

    O.k. Plano Let me have it!!!!
  2. frosty

    frosty New Member

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    I have not been able to find any bar solder to add to the mix. I know Inplanotx advised me to get some. I just have not found any yet and I have been hunting for it. I have read that I could add lead free solder (the stuff they have at wally world), but I have not tried it as of yet.

    Yes, I am hooked on casting I want to learn more now that I see the potential. Oh, yes I also have a 6 cavity mold from Lee but I have not tried it yet.
  3. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Frosty wrote:

    To get rid of the smoke, light it with a match. Smoke all gone!

    Look for a plumbing supply house. They have the 50/50 bar solder. It is mainly used by plumbers to seal pipes.

    Too costly!

    I use one one pound bar to 10 pounds of wheel weights.

    Not really.

    This is when you should be fluxing in order to mix the metals back together again. What you are seeing is the tin floating on the lead! After you flux and mix the metal, then skim, not before!

    BUY THE DAMN BOOK!!!!! Just by the questions I can tell you still have not bought the Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook now have you?
    Fess up, Frosty!!!! Even gave you the URL to find it!

    :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

    There is yet one more way to harden cast bullets, but I won;t tell you until I see a scan of the cover of the book! :cool: :cool: :cool:
  4. JohnnyRobotic

    JohnnyRobotic New Member

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    I'm interested in casting bullets also what was the link to that book so i can start to get a clue also any links or info as to what kinda pot i should get would be most helpfull
  5. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    JR,
    Here is a URL I found using the google search at the bottom of the page. Just type in Lyman Cast Bullet handbook in double quotes and you will find a bunch.

    Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook

    For pots and other information, look through this section as we have already discussed this information and all the info you need on pots, moulds, lube and other tricks is all here for the finding. These were recent posts so you won't have to look far!
  6. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Frosty.......if you're getting good bullets from straight wheelweights, you don't need solder. Solder won't make them any harder.....it only increases the temperature range over which the lead will cast well.

    Wheelweights are plenty hard enough.
  7. Silencer

    Silencer Well-Known Member

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    I buy my bullets from a guy that uses a 90% lead, 6% tin and 4% antimony mixture. I have pushed the .44 cal bullets to at least 1,500 FPS, and I have never had a problem with lead fouling.
  8. frosty

    frosty New Member

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    I'm fessing up,
    I do not have the book yet Plano. I just wanted to try it a little. I have ordered the book it should be here on Friday.
  9. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    See, I knew if I rattled ya a little you'd get the book. Glad to see ya hanging in there Frosty. Now, I can teach you how to heat treat the bullets so that you can get the Brinell hardness level up. Really not needed, but I have seen one batch I made hit a Russian Boar in the head and came out somewhere near his flank, but was never found. There was no doubt that that was one hard bullet!

    Xracer wrote:
    X, I have to argue with ya on that one. With bar solder, it is 50% lead and 50% tin which will harden the bullet on a brinell scale!
  10. ACC

    ACC New Member

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  11. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    C&R, the URL did not work for me.
  12. frosty

    frosty New Member

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    Plano will the bar solder actually be in a bar shape or in a spool? I have only seen the stuff on a spool in 1lb and in 1/2 spools the content is 95% tin and 5% antimony.
  13. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    The kind I've seen is called plumbers bar solder and is in the form of a one pound bar. Elongated and flat! Hope this helps, Frosty. It is not that important, just use the wheel weights and you should be fine. Keep in touch! Happy casting!
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2004
  14. ACC

    ACC New Member

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  15. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    C&R, very interesting site. I'm thinking Linotype now! Thanks.
  16. ACC

    ACC New Member

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    linotype is a good thing:) gets the lead nice and hard:)
  17. txpete

    txpete New Member

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    my alloy
    9 lb. wheel weights
    1 lb linotype
    don't have a hardness tester but it is good for 1400 to 1500 fps in my marlin 45/70 ltd with excellent accuracy.405 pb 3 lube groove .458.
    pete
  18. suryevor

    suryevor Guest

    non lead solder is 95% tin, 5% antimony

    so if you put in 1 lb of it with 10 lbs of wheelweights, you will have alloy that is plenty hard enough for use in .45 ACP, for mag revolver loads I'd put in in 8 lbs of wheelweights, and for 9mm, I'd put it in 6 lbs of wheelweights. But why bother? 9mm ball is 10c a round, ready to fire. Avoid the "adhessive backed" wheel weights like the plague. Even a very few of them will ruin a big batch of casting alloy.
  19. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    suryevor wrote:
    Because some of us enjoy reloading and casting as a hobby. Just in case you want to know, it is fun! Your mixtures listed in your last post would be totally disasterous even before your reached the 8 lb level.

    ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
  20. suryevor

    suryevor Guest

    says u. I've cast many bullets, out of

    the "pure' non lead alloy. Expensive yes, dangerous or "disastrous" no. That is my favorite alloy for defensive bullets., It makes the 155 gr Lee swc drop from the mold at less than 100 grs. Then it's hollowbased, hollowpointed, and the grease groove is deepened in the lathe, and the nose is slit, almost back to the grease groove, in a horizontal milling machine, using an .008" wide slitting saw. It's then driven to over 2300 fps, and at impact with flesh, it breaks into 3 frags, at the grease groove. The rear segment becomes a full wadcutter shape, nose heavy (because of the hollowbase). To get such speeds, a fully supported barrel and the longer, thicker case of the 460 Rowland is used. The effect on flesh and blood is just like that of a 223 rifle softpoint, which is to say, mean indeed. The recoil is no worse than that of .45 ball ammo, too.
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